Working in partnership with Redbridge Council, NHS Test and Trace is providing additional testing and genomic sequencing in targeted areas within the IG1 and IG6 postcode areas and small parts of the IG5 and IG7 postcode areas. It follows the identification of 2 confirmed cases of the variant first identified in South Africa (B.1.351), although the 2 are not thought to be linked.
The confirmed cases are self-isolating and their contacts have been identified. There are no links between these cases and the cluster of cases recently identified in the South London area.
Everybody aged 11 years and over who resides or works in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.
By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.
People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home. Those without symptoms should visit the London Borough of Redbridge website for more information.
People in this area should also continue using twice-weekly rapid testing alongside the